I'm 36, divorced, and have a 10 year old son. I was born and raised in Southern West Virginia. Yes, the state of West Virginia, not Virginia. Very small area, maybe 1,000 people in our little town. Moved away during my time in the service, only to end up coming back home. Guess the saying is true for some.... "no place like home".Tell us a little bit about yourself (age, birthplace, family, where you currently live, etc.).
My education ended in high school. I graduated, got my diploma, and started on my 4 year plan for life. I spent 4 years in school, I decided I was going to spend 4 years doing whatever it is I decided I want to do, then 4 years to decide how the rest of my life would play out... the last 4 lead to the next question.What is your educational background?
After my second 4 year tour (high school, then 4 partying), I had to grow up and be a man. Again, small town, not many opportunities arise for anything. So, I decided to go the military route. A good bit of my friends went in, many chose Air Force and Army.... a couple chose Navy. I decided at that time I wanted to be different, as I always try to do, and enlisted in the United State Marine Corps. I went in Jan 2001, left Jan 2005. Did my 4 years honorably, and once I was able to make the decision for the next 4, I decided it was my time to get my family and get out of the service.Tell us about your military background.
I manage the warehouse for a hospital within the Purchasing Department. Lame. I should have lied here and said Freelance Basketweaver, or Cliff Climbing Guide... it is what it is though. Not all workers are glamorous.What is your full time occupation?
A long time ago, I joined a php-nuke forum some guy created. I loved the site. It was when you could first play Playstation online, so we had a site to play football leagues in. I ended up volunteering to help, ended up taking on more than I could handle. At that point it was sink or swim. So, I had to learn quickly. The owner then left, but asked if I wanted to take it over. I said yes, and after that, it was me constantly learning or attempting to learn things to make the site look how I wanted. After 5 years, site died down, everyone moved on. Then, about 4 years ago, started hitting some gaming sites (they all happened to be vB). Hated them. Only place to chat, but I hated how vB worked. I decided I wanted to get back into owning a site and started looking. I searched for forum software, skipped over the first result of vB, signed up at xF and purchased a license. Had no clue about how many came from vB, etc... I missed all that fun. From that point, it was just me wanting to try different things. I like different.How did you get into coding, style design and customization?
Pretty boring... Up at 5am, off to work at 6:35am. Home at 3:45pm. Browse xF, listen to TV and drink coffee until I am tired. Sleep. Sums it up. Only changes when I have my son with me.What does your daily schedule look like?
I suppose it's the fact I like instant feedback and I like chatting with people. Plus, when it's live, there are generally many more variables. Much easier to see issues arise like that. I've always thought it was more of a pain to create elsewhere, import to another site, then "wait" for an issue to appear. If you are already there working, normally it takes about 2 seconds to correct it at that exact time. I've never had an issue doing it my way... then again, guess that is why I'm not a professional. I do like the head shaking and the not so silent things said when I do post something though. Likely the reason I keep making things... Hah.Your technique is unusual in that you customize live sites in realtime rather than work on them via a test board. Why do you prefer this method?
Trial and error. Hearing input from others. I wouldn't do anything to a site I wouldn't do to my own, at least in some fashion. Usually, I don't even have any type of concept or idea until I see the site for the first time. Once it finally pops in my head, I just roll with it. I like to work nonstop every day. In different areas. All over the place. Keeps my focus better.Can you describe the process you go through when you plan and implement a style customization?
I don't think I've really "created" anything. Usually just modify an existing idea.Which features that you've created are your personal favorites?
Hahaha. Well.... ummm... they are all pretty much test sites. No users, no activity. I don't post. I remove too much stuff, change too much stuff, etc. I've pretty much given up on having a "home" site on the internet. I always want to chat, but the topics are so wide ranged it's hilarious.Tell us about your own websites.
Raising my son to be the man his father failed to be. He is an amazing person and already understands life much more than I did at 25...What do you consider to be your most significant achievements?
As is. I don't like changing anything I want to say. Deep down, I know I was much more capable of being something... I just pissed it away. I took too much for granted and learned from it. It sounds negative because it is negative. I know what I could have done, and what I didn't do.That sounds unnecessarily negative to me. Is that the way you want it, rather than something like "Raising my son to be the man I wanted him to be"?
Too many to list. They've made me who I am though. Some people like me, some don't and I am perfectly okay with that.Any failures you'd care to tell us about?
No, not that I can think of. I usually prefer to do things alone. A lot of what I like and what others like don't really mesh to well. So, it's best to just not join up on anything.Are you currently involved in any interesting projects?
When I first really started using the internet for a great deal of time, I just wanted anonymity. Many people still do. I couldn't think of any cool handles, so I went the easy route. At the time, I really liked NASCAR and was a huge fan of Tony Stewart. I wanted him to win a championship. So, I took his last name "Stewart", the added what I wanted him to get "1 Championship". Shortened it, "stewart1champ". I always hated seeing it with a capitol S to, for whatever reason. Always lowercase. I used it so much, and my friends in real life knew I used it, everyone eventually started calling me Stew. After a while, I just wanted to be who I am, so at xF I requested to have my name set as my username. Now, the majority of sites I go to I either re-register under Sheldon or sheldonbowyer, or have it changed.What was the significance of your previous username stewart1champ and why are you moving away from it?
Never got into any of the drama. I knew I hated how vB worked and wanted something else. I guess that comes from me always wanting to be different. Different when my decision was made was XF. Never looked at IPB. I've only read about who came from where, who did what, etc... I really don't have an opinion on the matter, all I know is that I would not ever go with either of the other two options (vB and IPB) for anything. If XF ever goes down, I'm okay with being done as well. This hobby is getting a bit out of control price wise for me. Hah.What's your opinion on the current state of affairs in forum software in general and specifically regarding vBulletin, Invision Power Board, and XenForo?
Do whatever it is YOU want. Simple as that. Sure, everyone and their brother has an opinion on how they feel something should look, how a design is suppose to flow or whatever, but in the end, make your own identity. Not all forums have a category up top, then to be 1 row across with info, then next row, then next. If you want 80 columns, 80-it up! Do whatever you want. Trial and error it. Take the good with the bad, but keep doing whatever it is you want. Do not ever be afraid of going at something different.What advice do you have for people just starting out as coder/designer?
I am a Mitch Albom fan, read all his books. TV I pretty much stick to Adult Swim (Family Guy, American Dad, The Cleveland Show and Rick & Morty) or ESPN / Sportscenter. Music is rock... Disturbed is my favorite, I do like Volbeat, Thousand Foot Krutch, B4MV, Three Days Grace ( I can easily go on hahaha) Every once in a while, some classic 2Pac is always a bright spot. Not much of a gamer anymore, my son has taken over that role. I just buy the ones he wants and watch him. I'm a very very very picky eater, with the worst eating habits. I usually grab some bacon and eggs at work, then might ( I stress might) eat again at night. Some Ramen noodles or something usually. For drink... COFFEEEEEEE!!!!!!! and toss in a Dr. Pepper or two during the day at work.What are your favorite books? Movies? TV shows? Music? Games? Foods? Beverages?
Last dog I had was given away by my ex-wife while I was at work. Never had a cat. I don't get pets anymore because I travel too much going to my son's events...Dogs or cats?
Family Guy.Star Wars or Star Trek?
Could be bald for all that really matters. As long as she has some tattoo's, preferably a sleeve, all is good. Hahaha.Blondes, brunettes, or redheads?
Binge watch TV series on Netflix. Yeah, "binge" watch.What do you do for fun and relaxation?
That there is more back-stabbing in the civilian world than I ever imagined. The military is bad in a way about that, people trying gain rank and all... but man.... civilians are 50 times worse.... and they really only care about looking just a bit better... pfft. I can't do that. I can't step on someone to get something I want. I prefer the best man wins method. Guess that is why I'm at where I'm at.What do you know now that you wish you'd known 10 years ago?
I have been in college at 3 different places, great grades each time for 2 total years. I refuse to finish because I don't think anyone with a college degree is any better than anyone that served 4 total years in the military (in the same field, mind you). I have been passed over multiple jobs because of this as well. Get rave reviews on my resume until the point of seeing my education. I refuse to budge on this stance. Idiotic, maybe. My choice, 100%.Tell us something else about yourself that most people don't already know.
Who knows. I don't look to far ahead anymore. I'd rather focus on the now. The right now. It's where your at, you aren't guaranteed squat. The ones "planning" to do things are the ones that crack me up. I say screw it and jump headfirst. What do you have to lose.What does the future hold for Sheldon Bowyer?